The basic role of the department is to teach the theories and practice of Chemistry.
Our objectives vary to some extent with the age of the pupil. In Years 8, 9 and 10 the emphasis is placed on laboratory activities, making use of everyday substances and an investigative approach where possible. Here we aim to train the pupil to handle with confidence simple apparatus and encourage him/her to develop an enquiring mind - the first faltering steps towards acquiring a scientific approach. We also aim at this stage to develop students' ability to acquire scientific knowledge by means of practical investigation. Above all, we try to ensure that the course of study stimulates the students and creates and sustains their interest in, and enjoyment of, the study of Chemistry. The course followed by Years 8, 9 and 10 is designed to cover the CCEA Key Stage 3 Science curriculum in which we aim to reach Level 7.
In Years 11 and 12 theoretical content is increased according to the syllabus; practical activities and investigations are also continued. ICT is used increasingly to enhance classroom learning. The course followed by the Key Stage 4 pupils is designed to cover the syllabus of CCEA GCSE.
About 24% of the Lower Sixth pupils study the subject at AS Level and about 20% of the Upper Sixth pupils study the subject at A2 Level. These pupils study the AS and A2 syllabus respectively of the CCEA specification. A requirement here is to show how the work of the chemist has social, industrial, technological, environmental and economic consequences for the community. Consequently, the influence (for good or evil) of chemical knowledge, chemical ideas and the chemical industry on human life and society require emphasis.
Essentially Chemistry is an experimental science and ideally should be presented as such at all levels of education.
Dr. N Mulholland (Head of Department)
Mrs D Byrne
Mrs J Kernohan
Mr N McNicholl
Mr C Lindsay